Flexibility and Its Limits is the main feature key if you are already practicing yoga, you do not need exercise scientists and physiologists to convince you of the advantages of stretching. Instead, you’d probably like them to inform you if there’s anything in their flexibility research which will assist you to go deeper in your asanas.
A knowledge of physiology can assist you to visualize the inner workings of your body and specialize in the precise mechanisms that assist you to stretch. you’ll optimize your efforts if you recognize whether the tightness in your legs is thanks to poor skeletal alignment, stiff connective tissues, or nerve reflexes designed to stay you from hurting yourself. And if you recognize whether any uncomfortable sensations you are feeling are warnings that you’re close to doing damage, or whether they just notice that you’re entering exciting new territory, you’ll make an intelligent choice between pushing on or backing off—and avoid injuries.
In addition, a new research project may even have the potential to increase the wisdom of yoga. If we understand more clearly the complex physiology involved in yogic practices, flexibility, and its limits, we could also be able to refine our techniques for opening our bodies.
Yoga does much more than keep us limber. It releases tensions from our bodies and minds, allowing us to drop more deeply into meditation. In yoga, “flexibility” is an attitude that invests and transforms the mind also because of the body.
But in Western, physiological terms, “flexibility” is simply the power to maneuver muscles and joints through their complete range. It’s a capability we’re born with, but that the majority folks lose. “Our lives are restricted and sedentary,” explains Dr. Thomas Green, a chiropractor in Lincoln, Nebraska, “so our bodies get lazy muscles atrophy, and our joints settle into a limited range.”
Back once we were hunter-gatherers, we got the daily exercise we would have liked to stay our bodies flexible and healthy. But modern, sedentary life isn’t the sole culprit that constricts muscles and joints. albeit you’re active, your body will dehydrate and stiffen with age. By the time you become an adult, your tissues have lost about 15 percent of their moisture content, becoming less supple and more susceptible to injury. Your muscle fibers have begun to stick to every other, developing cellular cross-links that prevent parallel fibers from moving independently. Slowly our elastic fibers get bound up with collagenous animal tissue and become more and more unyielding. This normal aging of tissues is distressingly almost like the method that turns animal hides into leather. Unless we stretch, we dry up and tan! Stretching slows this process of dehydration by stimulating the assembly of tissue lubricants. It pulls the interwoven cellular cross-links apart and helps muscles rebuild with healthy parallel cellular structure.
Flexibility and Muscles
Muscles are organs biological units built from various specialized tissues that are integrated to perform one function. The specific function of muscles, of course, is a movement that’s produced by muscle fibers, bundles of specialized cells that change form by contracting or relaxing. Muscle groups operate together, alternately contracting and stretching in precise, coordinated sequences to supply the wide selection of movements of which our bodies are capable.
In skeletal movements, the working muscles the ones that contract to maneuver your bones are called the “agonists.” The opposing groups of muscles the ones that have got to release and elongate to permit movement are called the “antagonists.” Almost every movement of the skeleton involves the coordinated action of agonist and antagonist muscle groups: They’re the yang and yin of our movement anatomy.
But although stretching—the lengthening of antagonist’s muscles—is half the equation in skeletal movement, most exercise physiologists believe that increasing the elasticity of healthy muscle cells isn’t a crucial think about improving flexibility. consistent with Michael Alter, author of Science of Flexibility, current research demonstrates that individual muscle fibers are often stretched to approximately 150 percent of their resting length before tearing. This extendibility enables muscles to maneuver through a good range of motion, sufficient for many stretches even the foremost difficult asanas.
Limits Of Flexibility
Flexibility and Its Limits of our physical yoga practice do one of three things to our tissues: we stretch the tissues, compress them, or apply a shear to them. this easy fact dictates what stops us from going deeper into any posture. The resistance to stretching, or said differently, the limitation on our flexibility, is due either to tension along with the tissues, which resist further movement, or compression, where two parts of the body inherit contact and stop further movement.
If tension is stopping the movement, it’s felt within the direction far away from the movement. for instance, get up and fold one leg backward, moving your heel toward your buttock. If the heel stops before the calf presses into the rear of the foot could also be thanks to tension within the quadriceps. This tension within the quadriceps is within the other way from the movement of the lower leg. If compression is stopping the movement, it’s felt within the direction of the movement. during this example, compression may occur when the calf is squeezed into the rear of the thigh or when the heel pushes into the buttock.
In some cases, whether tension or compression is limiting movement isn’t easy to work out, and a part of our practice is to concentrate on what’s happening within the body once we move.